Thursday, October 28, 2010
In the interests of personal sanity, I decided to work out what I have left if I subtract "summer" clothes and "shop bought" from my wardrobe... and it looks like this:
three pairs not warm enough unless I wear leggings or tights underneath (ugh!)
one pair charcoal grey wool...with baggy knees
Two tweedy and one babycord
Long-sleeved tops: 1
Plum Rockabilly blouse (too big!)
Central Park Hoodie
Pioneer - short-sleeved so borderline useless in winter
Yay! My felted wool coat with brocade lining - love it!
Shawls and scarves: 7
Hooray! No shortage of neckwarmth!
But... OMG! No wonder I have been tying myself in knots every morning trying to get dressed for work!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
- Photo credit: gap.eu
- The shirt is too big for me and rides up, popping out of the waistband of the trousers and causing the collar to rub my ear-lobes. Ugh! Constantly having to tuck in my shirt-tail is none too elegant.
- The grey wool trousers have gone baggy at the knees and are too big at the waist and require a belt to hold them up, so have a pleat of excess fabric which has to be distributed somewhere around my waist.
- The Boyfriend jumper is almost long enough to be a mini-dress and narrows at the hem, so makes my legs look stumpy and emphasises the baggy trouser knees. And the puffy crisp cotton shirt sticks to it and makes me look like a stuffed toy.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Photo credit: Etsy seller linked below.
After a bit of a mopey weekend of failing to progress my blackwatch 50's top beyond the tailor-tacking stage, I gave myself a mental shake and came up with a contingency plan for the tartan wedding.
My first idea was to get some sort of a hair-piece. I am utterly besotted by this.
Yes, that is what you think it is: a mini tartan top hat with a stuffed crow nesting in the crown. I was thinking of wearing it with my wedding coat (floor-length midnight blue, corset-laced velvet if you didn't know me then!) and a cream lace jabot scarf. Sadly, my dear FL did not get the concept. And I had to remember that these getting-married people are his friends and he has to look them in the eye again. And this is rural Aberdeenshire, not the South-of-trendy-England!
So I reined myself in. And took a deep breath. And ordered some red tartan tights and a matching giant tartan bow hair-clip. Heh heh heh. Subversive enough to keep me feeling alive, but not going so far as to have an ASBO slapped on me at the church door! ;)So...I am going to wear the vintage dress I bought for the August wedding, my Irregular Choice rose shoes, and a shawl, accessorised with the giant tartan bow and tights. Sorted.
But if I did happen to get my sewing done in time, I could be a veritable plaid cornucopia. Smirk.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
We ate out at the Applecross Inn on a couple of occasions - delicious!
Friday, October 15, 2010
With apologies to Ms Garland and her ruby slippers: "this ain't Kansas... but it sure ain't Brighton either!"
I bought the fabric at Ebay, but they also have it at Fancy Moon, and I think it is about time I directed your attention to this purveyor of wild and lovely cotton prints! This was described as "sheeting" and it is definitely less crisp than a quilting cotton. It would make lovely pillowcases!
I used some yellow and white polka-dot bias binding on the inside of the hem - unseen, but it amuses me to know it is there.
If I was to make it again, I would make it about an inch larger through the body.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I filled two bin bags the other night: one is full of my summer clothes and has gone into the storage drawer until the sun shines again; and the other is on its way to the charity shop. There were a few items which caused hesitation. If they were summery, I let them stay (out of sight is out of mind - I'll decide next year!) but if they were wintery, I let them go. Gulp.
Or buy a pair of mad tartan shoes and then wear them to work afterwards, heh heh heh!
Shoes by TUK - so tempting!
But I am definitely not wasting good sewing time working on something I don't actually want / like.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Today I had to open the storage drawer in my wardrobe to find a non-self-stitched skirt which I wanted to wear. Well – what a revelation! What WAS all this stuff? Did I seriously ever wear that floor-length linen panelled skirt? Or the over-wide, too-short t-shirts? Or OMG that far-too-long windowpane check tweed number?
I considered the re-fashioning potential of these gems, but actually I think it’s time they went. Someone else will love them, I am sure.
And I won’t miss them. Because frankly I had forgotten they were there. How sad!
So the positive outcome of SSS is definitely that I am making space to breathe and grow. I have a much clearer idea of what I like and what suits me. And a greater open-ness to letting things go. I swore I would not let clutter build up, so off it goes! Editing.
Since FL gave me some £s to spend on clothing, almost 2 years ago now, I started to note every item I bought, and it has actually not been that much:
4 long-sleeved t-shirts
A pair of sneakers
A pair of shoes
A black polo-neck sweater
2 pairs of jeans
The vintage dress-for-a-wedding
Total cost: just over £550 (that's in two years remember!)
I spent about half as much again on materials: fabric, wool and patterns. Which, considering that stitching is my main leisure interest, is not bad at all: with the added advantage that I get to wear the outcomes!
I have no concept of what other people spend on "fashion", and really it does not matter as long as I am comfortable with my own level of expenditure and what I have to show for it. I know that I choose ethical / organic options wherever possible, which hikes up the price per garment, but hopefully they are of good quality and will last for longer as a result.How about you? Do you have a "clothing budget"? Do you agonize over a single purchase, or have a big splurge every payday?
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I re-traced the body and sleeve pieces as I realised the tissue would not survive pinning. I am pleased to say the instruction sheet is fairly robust - I needed it!
Working on this shirt required me to change gear and accept that this is a vintage design, not designed for speed-sewing.
There were so many construction details to be processed: multiple darts, gathering, collar, cuffs, sleeve vents, button tab. The "secret" under-cuff embroidery I felt compelled to add.
That crisp poplin shows every pucker. I regret that the faced sleeve vents are a mess of fudgery and iron-shine. Luckily, they are downward-facing.
I could so easily have become disheartened. I accept that knitting is a long-drawn-out adventure, but with sewing, I always expect to see results within a couple of days. Not possible with this project!
However, it is perfectly wearable. And I will wear it. I just won't rush to make another. Although I have seen some crisp turquoise cotton that fits my palette...
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
I really thought I had reached an age where my peers were finished with marriage and were having divorce parties instead. (Sorry! But you know it's true!)
But no, a couple of FL's golfing friends have decided the time is right and have invited us to attend their nuptials in November. Which would be fine... except they have also announced a tartan theme!
So I need something new to wear. In tartan. So help me!
I have that lovely blackwatch brushed cotton in the stash. I am wondering if I could get away with a 50's style blouse using the va-va-voom pattern, but with long sleeves, pairing it with a petrol-blue satin skirt?
I happened to buy the satin from Croft Mill a while back, thinking I would make a slinky sleeveless top... but it turned out to be a rather stiff fabric, completely unsuited to blouse-making.
- Would it work as a bubble skirt?
- Would a bubble skirt work with a 50's style blouse?
- Or should I go for a circle-style skirt?
- Would the resulting outfit work for a wedding?
I am not going to ask for your advice on shoes. I am wearing my red Irregular Choice rose shoes again, no matter what!
The sewing queue has just been thrown out of the window. Again.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Most often worn: Green Bella trousers and Black Japanese jacket: 5 times each, but never together - why not?!
self-stitched trousers: 14 times
skirts: 7 times
most-worn handknit: Central Park Hoodie, which I also wore in the evenings "off blog"
Of things never worn:
Photo: The Seed Packet Skirt of self-conscious craftiness...
I wore lipstick every day!
Moving forward, I realise I need to stop buying flashy cotton prints (Brighton Pavilions* I am looking at you!) and concentrate my self-stitching on building a warm, practical, layer-able wardrobe. Identifying my palette will undoubtedly help: if all my new items fit the colour-scheme, it should be easier to put together a coherent outfit in the morning.
And that's quite exciting! In the past, I have been guilty of making ever-shifting plans, which got conveniently "forgotten" when the next shiny project caught my eye... and ended up with a great big heap of mismatched summer quirkiness. With a clear practical objective and a colour frame of reference, there will still be room for a dash of quirk, but it will "work".
Well... that's the theory anyway! Watch this space!
*P.S. The Brighton Pavilions tunic is nevertheless on its way: it is turquoise and fills the weekend self-stitched clothing gap - woo hoo!